According to a report by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), there are 36 accidental deaths, on average, in the UK construction sector every year. The same report further states that there are 54,000 non-fatal injuries in the industry annually. These numbers are unfortunate, frightening, but also avoidable.
Because construction sites can be dangerous, safety should be higher on the priority list than budget or deadlines. Here are five tips on how to make sure your site stays safe and accident-free.
Get everyone on board.
Safety is not just for management to roll out and workers to blindly follow. It is a community responsibility that requires everyone to both understand and actively participate in. Safety guidelines and the reasons behind them must be explained thoroughly. People tend to comply better when they understand why they have to. All the people who enter the site must also abide by the guidelines.
Get everyone updated.
A lot of things change in a construction site as projects continue. Regular touch base meetings are essential to ensure everyone’s getting up to speed with changing safety precautions. Talk about new safety measures alongside every new undertaking. These meetings also reaffirm your commitment to safety.
Get everyone the right equipment.
Aside from the industry-standard personal protective equipment (PPE), every piece of equipment and machinery in a construction site should be checked and rechecked for safety. These sites have so many objects that can potentially hurt people easily. Taking the extra time to go over all of them will save you a world of trouble down the road.
You should also stay updated with the latest industry trends. Some equipment may already be rendered obsolete by newer, safer ones. Investing in better tools is not just likely efficient for business, it can also often reduce risk.
Get everyone trained.
Ideally, safety training should be mandatory for everyone who works on site. If that is not an option, training supervisors will give workers a more direct connection to the material when the knowledge is eventually passed to them.
Find the best site supervisor safety training class for your purposes. Attending these classes is also a good way to make sure your site is on par with others in the industry. It’s also worth mentioning that these training programs should be done regularly to keep up with changes and to make sure everyone stays sharp.
Get everyone checked.
You shouldn’t only be concerned with site accidents. Construction is a high-risk industry also because of the different illnesses its workers manifest. According to the HSE, over 40% of occupational cancer deaths and registrations are in the construction sector. Hazardous substances like fumes and gases also pose varying degrees of risk to the human body. The best way to mitigate these risks is to keep a clean work environment, provide the right protective wear and equipment, and make sure everyone has access to regular check-ups.
Safety as an investment has returns more valuable than the bottom line. The HSE enumerates the cost of not having what it considers a safe construction site: reputational cost, financial cost, and human cost. But more than that, the idea that people may be exposed to danger at your site should be enough of a push to follow these five tips.